By Ibrahim Haj Hamad www.khaleejtimes.com
DUBAI — Passengers can now use the Internet search engine Google for planning their trips using the means provided by the Road and Transport Authority, an official said.
Abdullah Al Madani, CEO, Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, RTA said, Dubai is the first city in the Middle East and North Africa region to have its public transport network displayed on Google.
“Our passengers can now plan their journey anywhere in Dubai using their computers,” said Madani. Cities, restaurants and other attractions around Dubai are also featured on Google Maps for users.
Madani said the RTA is also set to showcase more electronic services during Gitex 2009.
“The RTA has about 140 e-services on offer through various electronic channels as well as its portal,” said Madani. The RTA will also offer mParking service allowing motorists to pay parking, Dalili service (dynamic navigation service), and Salik fees through SMS.
Madani said, Gitex 2009 will also see the launch of new technologies related to Nol cards.
“Public Transport Agency will also display Wojhati (Journey Planner), the Real Time Passenger Information system which displays live information on e-monitors and the Automated Vehicle Management System.
Metro Geographical Information Systems will also be displayed along with the Automated Fare Collection service. Ali Al Jasim, director, Drivers Licensing Department, RTA said the authority is teaming up with the British firm Pearson VUE Co. in a joint exhibition during Gitex 2009 to showcase the best e-services in the field of Driving Theory Test, which will be activated in the first half of 2010.
“Pearson VUE has delivered the Driver Testing System for RTA and a team of testing experts will be present the electronic showpiece in Dubai,” said Al Jasim.
The online services offered by RTA include renewal of driving licences, and e-registration of vehicles.
Marwan El Kadi, 23, a student at the Canadian University of Dubai said passengers will now find it much easier to plan their journey using Google.
“It’s great that they choose Google because students use it daily for research and other activities,” said El Kadi.
“When you’re a student you want to save every dirham you have so planning your journey ahead would be idle to avoid getting lost.”